Due to feedback from a handful of customers that did not understand what our menu icons meant, a hamburger icon was removed from our navigation menu, this hamburger icon was used to expand the navigation menu.

enter image description here

In place of the hamburger icon action, a hover event now expands the navigation menu: enter image description here

Hover does not imply intent:

  • It is frustrating to hover over something and have it do something not intended.
  • Especially frustrating, if the hover causes a sweeping full screen animation that darkens the entire website with an opaque black and expands a large menu.
  • What if the user's intent was to click a menu icon that has become familiar?

Hovering over an icon, causing a tooltip to display is the standard solution for explaining what an icon is/does, yes?

Is it not fair and reasonable non-subjective to say that?:

This hovering menu nav is, unfortunately, just bad UI/UX. Hovering menus are an observable, industry standard bad practice, particularly as a solution to the problem we are trying to solve for our customers: describing what our menu icons mean.

  • Could you add the version with the hamburger icon too? Maybe the problem wasn’t the hamburger icon itself but how it was presented in relation to the other icon. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 5:28
  • 1
    The age old battle between ease of use and ease of discovery. I think.
    – Confused
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 12:22

2 Answers 2


If the issue was "did not understand what our menu icons meant" would tool-tip help? Hamburgers are standard these days and removing it completely might cause users search for it.

I too agree on the hover over actions becoming frustrating. I was thinking adding back a hamburger with tool-tip and on click of hamburger menu can expand the menu, especially if there are sub-menus hidden.

Cheers, Arty


You have some options here.

  1. Show the labels all the time.
  2. Improve the icons. The icons shown are very generic and could mean anything. BOM appears to be using the numbered list icon I can see when I type this.
  3. Change hover behaviour to show tooltips.

I agree that hover to expand is not a great experience. It can especially be problematic on touch interfaces.

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